The new Turn concept.

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The new Turn concept.

Postby Kreistor » Fri May 01, 2009 2:57 am

I think Jamie will clear all this up soon enough... or at least I hope so. His latest comic (Page 144, http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0157.html) has created some confusion.

First, let's look at Rations. When Parson first appeared, his rations popped at dawn. Page 39, http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0042.html

But on Page 104 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0116.html), Transylvito has ended Turn and Charlescomm has begun. He ends Turn in the next strip, before Parson's Rations pop in the next. That means rations do not Pop at dawn in all situations.

And now, with the Battle over, Rations pop at dawn again. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0157.html) And now a new term is introduced... Battlespace.

Parson states that having the Turn begin at dawn has something specifically to do with Charlescomm and Transylvito not being in Battlespace, and we already knew that barbarians all move first. So, what does this mean?

Bogroll says Rations pop at dawn, but he may only be referring to that particular day, when the war is far from GK. With no enemies in Battlespace, GK would act the same as on Page 144. We now have Rations popping at Dawn again, with no battle in the region.

Teh obvious resolution to this is that Rations Pop at the beginning of Turn, but Turns are more organic than the previously suggested Natural Turn Order. There are two situations -- in imminent threat of battle, and when not expecting battle. We see both situations at GK. In the beginning and end, there is no expectation of battle, so the Turn starts at Dawn. In the middle, GK is under siege and is part of the turn order.

So, here's how it has to work. Each unit (or in this case the city) has a battlespace around it. If any enemies are in that battlespace, Natural Turn Order takes over; otherwise, Turns are simultaneous. That explains both situations, as well as explaining Parson's comments in 144.

This has to be a mechanism to allow battles in tmultiple places simultaneously. If Nation A fights B in the West and C in the East, under strict Turn Order rules, even though C and B are far apart, they'd be waiting for each other. With this rule, the two fronts do not affect each other, so combat is simultaneous. If the Turn order is B A C, then B moves first against A at the same time A moves against C, and when B ends Turn, A moves against B. Later, A ends Turn against C, and so A is moving against B while C is moving against A. That soudns bad, but just remember the two fronts are far apart, being lead by different commanders.

Further, tehre are caster limitations to other concepts. Localized freezing of time results in Lookamancers seeing frozen enemy units, unable to respond to them. You can also not contact other Sides except at night, unless you are in combat, because they would be frozen. So, for the most part, just to allow life to simulate our rality, normal peacetime rules would have all sides acting simultaneously.
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Re: The new Turn concept.

Postby raphfrk » Fri May 01, 2009 6:33 pm

Kreistor wrote:This has to be a mechanism to allow battles in multiple places simultaneously. If Nation A fights B in the West and C in the East, under strict Turn Order rules, even though C and B are far apart, they'd be waiting for each other. With this rule, the two fronts do not affect each other, so combat is simultaneous. If the Turn order is B A C, then B moves first against A at the same time A moves against C, and when B ends Turn, A moves against B. Later, A ends Turn against C, and so A is moving against B while C is moving against A. That sounds bad, but just remember the two fronts are far apart, being lead by different commanders.


I made an alternative suggestion here. It leads to sides that are disconnected moving first. However, each side gets to move all of its units at the same time. Splitting a side into multiple sub-sides by battlespace each with its own turn doesn't seem to be what actually happens. Having said that, we have only seen one battlespace.

In the above example, B would go first (as B is first in global turn order). Since B can interact with A, this locks down A. This means that A gets skipped and C is next.

Thus, at dawn, A and C get to move at the same time.

When both have ended turn B gets to move after them.

Since A and C cannot interact, having them move simultaneously doesn't break anything.

Further, there are caster limitations to other concepts. Localized freezing of time results in Lookamancers seeing frozen enemy units, unable to respond to them. You can also not contact other Sides except at night, unless you are in combat, because they would be frozen.


You would get full view of any side that has units that can enter your zone of influence, so this isn't a big issue. However, at dawn, lookamancers would see units from far away sides jump due to what looks like instant movement.

For thinkamancers, an option would be that if you contact a side, they unfreeze.
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Re: The new Turn concept.

Postby Kreistor » Fri May 01, 2009 7:34 pm

raphfrk wrote:Splitting a side into multiple sub-sides by battlespace each with its own turn doesn't seem to be what actually happens. Having said that, we have only seen one battlespace.


Yeah, one battlespace, so how can we know it doesn't happen? Anyway, on to yours.

1) At dawn place all sides into Wait mode
2) Any waiting side which could interact with a moving side is placed in locked mode
3) Any locked side which cannot interact with a moving side is placed in waiting mode
4) If there are any waiting sides, place the global earliest of them into move mode and goto 2)
5) Wait for a moving side to end turn, place that side into finished mode and goto 2)
6) End day when all enter finished mode


That's... uhm... not so simple. It's actually quite complex. It also has the side effect of forcing two unallied sides in different parts of the world to wait for each other. It also fails to explain "battlespace".

You would get full view of any side that has units that can enter your zone of influence, so this isn't a big issue. However, at dawn, lookamancers would see units from far away sides jump due to what looks like instant movement.


I can't support that. Not until we see it. It's unnecessary and exceptional. I don't support any form of localized time freezing, not without blatant evidence in the comic. Get rid of Wait mode. It's redundant.
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Re: The new Turn concept.

Postby Welf von Ehrwald » Sat May 02, 2009 4:05 pm

I prefer a simple model. Battlespace = space a side's units can move to. Nations who's battlespace do not overlap can move at dawn simultaneously, the rest has to wait. A shame it doesn't work that way. Stanley can reach the location of Transylvito, according to my theory this would mean GK had to wait.
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Not new

Postby Starwaster » Sat May 02, 2009 10:14 pm

The term battlespace is not new, and it's not even the first time it's been used in Erfworld: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0134.html. Are you all really sure it refers to anything but broad military doctrine and strategy?

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Re: The new Turn concept.

Postby Kreistor » Sun May 03, 2009 6:06 pm

In this case, yes, "battlespace" now has a meaning. If an enemy is not in battlespace, your turn starts at dawn. That much is certain. The questions remaining are "How is battlespace defined?", and "Can two overlapping battlespaces which result in potential combat force Turn order?"
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Re: The new Turn concept.

Postby Starwaster » Mon May 04, 2009 3:04 am

Sigh. Like I said.... cow tools.... the Cow Tools Syndrome strikes again!
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Re: The new Turn concept.

Postby Housellama » Thu May 21, 2009 7:29 pm

Battlespace is a term that has been used by military professionals for a while, and has become almost a catchphrase recently. The old term was theater of operations, but as wars became smaller, quicker and more mobile, that term didn't exactly apply.

A real world battlespace is defined as the following

"Battlespace is a unified military strategy to integrate and combine armed forces for the military theatre of operations, including air, information, land, sea and space to achieve military goals. It includes the environment, factors and conditions that must be understood to successfully apply combat power, protect the force, or complete the mission. This includes enemy and friendly armed forces; infrastructure; weather; terrain; and the electromagnetic spectrum within the operational areas and areas of interest." (Source: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlespace)

As far as game terms go, I think we have to define some other terms before we get there. First is what I think of as "area of influence". This is the hexes a Side controls, or can influence (See, move to, attack, cast at, etc.) When two or more areas of influence overlap, you have a battlespace. And I would define that battlespace as the total area of influence of all overlapping sides. Now, how turn order is determined within that battlespace, I don't know. I believe that there is a mechanic governing that which is either hidden, or we just haven't seen yet.

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Re: The new Turn concept.

Postby Kreistor » Fri May 22, 2009 2:58 am

Housellama wrote:As far as game terms go, I think we have to define some other terms before we get there. First is what I think of as "area of influence". This is the hexes a Side controls, or can influence (See, move to, attack, cast at, etc.) When two or more areas of influence overlap, you have a battlespace. And I would define that battlespace as the total area of influence of all overlapping sides. Now, how turn order is determined within that battlespace, I don't know. I believe that there is a mechanic governing that which is either hidden, or we just haven't seen yet.


If you create terms, you're creating speculation, not game rules. Rob has the game rules, and we're trying to figure them out. We don't invent terms, we use the terms Rob gives us.

Battlespace actually was used earlier, back when Parson did his Mork bit. Charlescomm is a "Battlespace Solutions Provider", the same catch-phrase you talk about. We ignored it then, because we saw it used in the wrong context -- it was marketing lingo, not game rules.

Now we have a real effect tied to BAttlespace. When no enemies are in Battlespace, Turn starts at Dawn. Now we know Battlespace has some technical definition beyond the Marketspek of Charlescomm.

It is, fundamentally, a mistake to create terms for things the game rules may have no use for. Speculation is fun, but we're not creating game rules, we're trying to puzzle them out. There are degrees of speculation. Sometimes, we use speculation to support a second idea. THe more that we do that, the weaker the idea becomes, and the less likely it is to be true. Creating game terms based on speculation will only confuse the search for rules, stepping us back from the actual evidence of the comic.
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Re: The new Turn concept.

Postby doran » Fri May 22, 2009 4:32 pm

Kreistor wrote:
Housellama wrote:As far as game terms go, I think we have to define some other terms before we get there. First is what I think of as "area of influence". This is the hexes a Side controls, or can influence (See, move to, attack, cast at, etc.) When two or more areas of influence overlap, you have a battlespace. And I would define that battlespace as the total area of influence of all overlapping sides. Now, how turn order is determined within that battlespace, I don't know. I believe that there is a mechanic governing that which is either hidden, or we just haven't seen yet.


If you create terms, you're creating speculation, not game rules. Rob has the game rules, and we're trying to figure them out. We don't invent terms, we use the terms Rob gives us.

Battlespace actually was used earlier, back when Parson did his Mork bit. Charlescomm is a "Battlespace Solutions Provider", the same catch-phrase you talk about. We ignored it then, because we saw it used in the wrong context -- it was marketing lingo, not game rules.

Now we have a real effect tied to BAttlespace. When no enemies are in Battlespace, Turn starts at Dawn. Now we know Battlespace has some technical definition beyond the Marketspek of Charlescomm.

It is, fundamentally, a mistake to create terms for things the game rules may have no use for. Speculation is fun, but we're not creating game rules, we're trying to puzzle them out. There are degrees of speculation. Sometimes, we use speculation to support a second idea. THe more that we do that, the weaker the idea becomes, and the less likely it is to be true. Creating game terms based on speculation will only confuse the search for rules, stepping us back from the actual evidence of the comic.


Figuring out rules always relys on speculation, hypotheses. These are then confirmed or dropped as the story continues. Its easier to refer to theories by terms rather than explaining it every time.

I think Housellama is just trying to involve the whole my "definition is different from yours" problem (see Deus Ex Machine, Mary Sue etc.)
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Re: The new Turn concept.

Postby Kreistor » Sat May 23, 2009 10:47 pm

doran wrote:Figuring out rules always relys on speculation, hypotheses. These are then confirmed or dropped as the story continues. Its easier to refer to theories by terms rather than explaining it every time.

I think Housellama is just trying to involve the whole my "definition is different from yours" problem (see Deus Ex Machine, Mary Sue etc.)
If everyone involved knows it's theorising, it's fine.


There's a difference between "figuring out the rules" and "creating pet theories". When you start from a known existent term (Such as BAttlespace), you're trying to figure something out. When you begin with a term "area of influence", you're creating a pet theory.

Yes, to figure out the rules, we do have to speculate, but scale does matter. When we speculate merely to fill gaps, then we're sticking inside the "figuring out the rules" style. When we start with a theory, and use comic evidence to find proof, we're creating a pet theory.

I'm not adverse to either, but I need recognition out of the poster what their goal is. Nothing brings out my fangs like someone presenting their pet theory as a rule. You see, when you start from the theory and find evidence, you often overlook counter-evidence. A lot of people don't realize how good someone like me is at bringing the weight of references down on their heads. I don't miss much, and the more I argue, the more I've missed gets pointed out, and the less I miss.

So, no, I really think that introducing theoretically useful game terms into the rules analysis at this point is unnecessary and especially pointless with Rob's plan for the summer. After the summer is over and the larger known rules base revealed, then we'll have a whole new ball game. Excessive speculation is just pointless right now.
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Re: The new Turn concept.

Postby doran » Sun May 24, 2009 7:58 am

Kreistor wrote:Excessive speculation is just pointless right now.


But fun!
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Re: The new Turn concept.

Postby Kreistor » Sun May 24, 2009 9:30 am

doran wrote:But fun!


You're not the first to say that, but speculation needs fuel. All we have recently is exposition. There's been nothing new to speculate on. Every once in a while I have a flash of insight, but nothing has been obviously speculation worthy for a while now.
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Re: The new Turn concept.

Postby Housellama » Tue May 26, 2009 6:51 pm

Kreistor - I wasn't so much 'creating new terms' for the game as providing us a way to speak to each other here, so we're all on the same page. I'm an old school logic/rhetoric/programmer type. At the beginning of each discussion, I prefer to define terms so that there is no confusion later.

I had no intentions of creating a new game concept. I was simply trying to explain my idea. In the Real World, terms like Area of Influence, Area of Interest and other such things are used regularly enough to be standard. I talk to a lot of military/strategy types (one of my good friends is currently getting her degree in Intelligence Studies for heaven's sake), so I am very familiar with them, but I realize others might not be. So I was defining my terms before I went on. Nothing more.

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Re: The new Turn concept.

Postby Unclever title » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:43 pm

New here, Hi.

Anyway, for me any term is fine so long as it is defined and applies to the concept at hand. So I've got no problem with "Area of influence" in that regard, as this is referential to game mechanics already established in Erfworld. The only problem is that "battlespace" seems to have that covered. Battlespace as it appears in Erfworld seems to be simply the space within and around one's forces in which one can do battle. That was the impression I got and will be the definition I use for the rest of my post so that I am consistent.

And from what I've gathered observing Erfworld so far is that it's a curious combination of Game mechanics and Real world physics (and related limitations). Of rules that seem arbitrary, like the limitations of turns, and rules that we all know too well, like gravity.

As such considering turns and battlespaces so far I agree with Kreistor's 1st post in the idea of different turn schemes for whether or not your battlespace is invaded. As he said the comic seems to support this what with both Ansom's and Stanley's respective forces ending turn at night when they were far (relatively speaking) apart, and then the turns alternating within the same day when they were fighting. It's the simplest solution from what I can tell and the simplest solution is usually the best. ~ Occam (Paraphrased)

As for determining order of turns when battlespaces "collide" the simplest solution would likely be determined by who enters whose battlespace first which might explain why the Coalition had the first turn of the day at Page 104. The difference being between the aggressor and the defender. In fact if turn order is decided dynamically on a day to day basis then the agressor might always have first turn of the day. However I don't think there's anything specific enough to confirm or deny a dynamic turn order.

In the unlikely event that each side marches into each other's battlespaces at the same time would (if I were running Erfworld) likely be the winner of the initial conflict... or something. I don't know. I have the distinct assumption that such an event has never before happened in the history of Erfworld, until the day Parson does this on purpose, but that's pure speculation of course...

Field intelligence between both sides might also play a factor but that might be imposing too much of the real on the Erf.

Also there is the topic of Turnamancy to consider... and if that means what I think it means than a dynamic turn order might be... in order (sorry) but we don't have any information to reflect on for that one yet. :D
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Re: The new Turn concept.

Postby prototype19 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:00 pm

i dont have any problem with what housellamas doing in defining his terms before he launches into a theory, but i agree that Area of Influence might be unnecesary. Parson says there are no transylvito or charllescomm units in battlespace, implying that battlespace exists wether there are enemy units in it or not. Also, i dont think Rob is going to need to expand on the laws of the Turn system for very long now that Parson can break the rules. After all, if he can bypass the censor, and he might even be overiding his loyalty by destroying the sword, whats to keep him from moving out of turn.
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Re: The new Turn concept.

Postby Bobby Archer » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:29 pm

Unclever title wrote:As for determining order of turns when battlespaces "collide" the simplest solution would likely be determined by who enters whose battlespace first which might explain why the Coalition had the first turn of the day at Page 104. The difference being between the aggressor and the defender. In fact if turn order is decided dynamically on a day to day basis then the agressor might always have first turn of the day. However I don't think there's anything specific enough to confirm or deny a dynamic turn order.

The Coalition does not go before Gobwin Knob on this day. Charlescomm and Transylvito ended their alliance with the Coalition the turn before, with the intention of Charlescomm and Jillian allying with Transylvito. Charlescomm didn't ally with Transylvito, though, and went separately. Both Charlescomm and Transylvito are established as having natural turns before Gobwin Knob, although sides only seem to take turns with each other when within the same battlespace (which, although having implications within the script, has not yet been defined).

At no point in the comic to date that I can find does one side act in a different point in the turn order when it is not explained by alliance or not being in the "battlespace".
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